MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 2020 Regular Season

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2020

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 2020 Regular Season

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    Derrick Tuskan/Associated Press

    After an exciting final weekend of the regular season, the 2020 postseason field is officially set, and 16 of the league's 30 teams are still in the hunt for a title.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers never broke stride en route to the best record in baseball, the upstart San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox are ready to prove they have arrived, and the Midwest will be on full display in October after seven teams made the postseason from the American League and National League Central divisions.

    This year's playoffs begin with a best-of-three Wild Card Series that will cut the field of teams in half. The AL begins play Tuesday, with the NL joining the fray Wednesday.

    Before a postseason like nothing we've seen before unfolds, let's slap a bow on the regular season with one final edition of our weekly MLB power rankings.

    This time around, I've also selected a Team of the Year made up of the top player at each position, along with providing a look at my hypothetical MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year ballots for both leagues.

    Off we go!

Nos. 30-26

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    Lance Lynn
    Lance LynnTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    30. Pittsburgh Pirates (19-41)

    This season proved to be a continuation of the disastrous second half the Pirates endured in 2019, and a long rebuild awaits. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft should help, and rookies Ke'Bryan Hayes (95 PA, .376/.442/.682, 5 HR) and Mitch Keller (21.2 IP, 2.91 ERA, .132 BAA) both showed enough to be viewed as long-term building blocks.

         

    29. Texas Rangers (22-38)

    Will the Rangers move Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo during the offseason? After an aggressive push to contend last winter that included a failed overhaul of the starting rotation, the franchise is at a crossroads. Simply retooling might be enough to push it back into contention in the AL West, but it might still be time to blow it up.

          

    28. Detroit Tigers (23-35)

    The Tigers jumped out to a 9-5 start before crashing back to earth with a nine-game losing streak, and a 7-19 September leaves them near the bottom of the rankings at season's end. That said, it was a positive year from a rebuilding standpoint with a number of top prospects getting their feet wet in the majors. Shortstop Willi Castro (140 PA, .349 BA, .932 OPS, 12 XBH) looks like a keeper.

           

    27. Boston Red Sox (24-36)

    Getting Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez back healthy will be a huge in-house boost for the Red Sox next season, but that alone won't be enough to right the ship for a pitching staff that posted a 5.58 ERA that ranked 28th in the majors. The team also has a free-agency decision to make regarding Jackie Bradley Jr. and the future of the center field position.

          

    26. Washington Nationals (26-34)

    The Nationals have over $90 million tied up in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in 2021, and that trio is more than capable of carrying them back into contention next year. Juan Soto is a bona fide superstar, Trea Turner just had the best season of his career, and Victor Robles is capable of much more than he showed this year. With a few complementary additions, they should be back in the NL East hunt.

Nos. 25-21

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    Kyle Lewis
    Kyle LewisRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    25. Kansas City Royals (26-34)

    Strong debuts from Brady Singer (12 GS, 4.06 ERA) and Kris Bubic (10 GS, 4.32 ERA) are just the start for a rebuilding Kansas City team that is loaded with quality young pitching talent. Tip of the cap to Alex Gordon, who is retiring after an excellent 14-year career.

           

    24. Baltimore Orioles (25-35)

    After posting a .312 winning percentage the past two seasons, and with a cobbled-together pitching staff that saw Tommy Milone take the ball on Opening Day, it's fair to say the Orioles blew past expectations with a 25-win season. A breakout campaign from Anthony Santander (.890 OPS, 11 HR, 32 RBI) and a strong debut from Ryan Mountcastle (.878 OPS, 5 HR, 23 RBI) were among the bright spots.

         

    23. Colorado Rockies (26-34)

    The Rockies went 15-31 after an 11-3 start. The good news is that bounce-back seasons from Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela have significantly improved the short-term outlook of the pitching staff. The bad news is that the offense was unable to pull its weight, and the bullpen is still a disaster, so there's work to do for a front office that sat on its hands last winter.

          

    22. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-35)

    Very little went according to plan for a D-backs team with legitimate postseason aspirations. The offense ranked near the bottom in home runs (58, 29th) and OPS (.704, 22nd), and the pitching staff was a mess behind breakout ace Zac Gallen (12 GS, 2.75 ERA, 82 K, 72 IP). Still, a strong farm system and plenty of payroll flexibility make them a team to watch.

           

    21. Seattle Mariners (27-33)

    The drought continues for a Mariners team still searching for its first playoff berth since 2001. The front office made some nice moves at the trade deadline, Marco Gonzales emerged as a true ace, Justus Sheffield delivered on his long-promised upside, and Kyle Lewis will likely be the team's first AL Rookie of the Year winner since Ichiro.

Nos. 20-16

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    Zack Wheeler
    Zack WheelerNick Wass/Associated Press

    20. New York Mets (26-34)

    Mets fans enter the offseason with renewed hope brought about by a long-awaited change in ownership. The starting rotation will need to be addressed behind Jacob deGrom, but an offense that posted an .807 OPS (third in MLB) and averaged 4.8 runs per game behind stellar seasons from Michael Conforto (.322 BA, .927 OPS, 21 XBH) and Dominic Smith (.993 OPS, 10 HR, 42 RBI) is a positive takeaway from a disappointing season.

            

    19. Los Angeles Angels (26-34)

    Another year, another postseason without baseball's best player. Despite hitting on the Dylan Bundy trade, the Angels still finished 28th in starters' ERA (5.51), and the lack of a reliable starting rotation was once again their undoing. Strong seasons from David Fletcher and Jared Walsh give the lineup another layer beyond Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, but they have to find some quality pitching.

          

    18. Philadelphia Phillies (28-32)

    The Phillies face a big offseason decision regarding star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is reportedly seeking a contract that would make him the highest-paid catcher in MLB history. The $118 million they spent to sign Zack Wheeler was money well spent in his first year with the team, but the starting rotation is still a quality arm or two away from being a strength. With the money invested in the current roster, they have no choice but to push on as buyers.

          

    17. San Francisco Giants (29-31)

    The sting of finishing one win short of the playoffs hurts now, but there are many positives for a Giants team that most expected to be entrenched near the bottom of these rankings. Mike Yastrzemski will show up on NL MVP ballots, Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly were both excellent buy-low additions who will help prove the front office's mettle, and Joey Bart gained some valuable experience.

           

    16. Milwaukee Brewers (29-31)

    The Brewers spent most of September in fourth place in the NL Central standings, and despite a sub-.500 winning percentage and a minus-17 run differential, they managed to snag the final NL wild-card spot. Breakout ace Corbin Burnes suffered an oblique injury Friday that will likely end his season, and that's a huge blow to their October outlook. Then again, the trio of Freddy Peralta, Devin Williams and Josh Hader will be waiting in the bullpen to shorten games for the remaining starters.

Nos. 15-11

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    Teoscar Hernandez
    Teoscar HernandezNick Wass/Associated Press

    15. Toronto Blue Jays (32-28)

    After three consecutive losing seasons, the Blue Jays are back in the playoffs for the first time since they reached the ALCS as a wild-card team in 2016. Hyun-Jin Ryu has delivered on his four-year, $80 million contract to give the young staff the ace it was lacking, and a breakout season from Teoscar Hernandez (.919 OPS, 16 HR, 34 RBI) gave the offense a welcome boost.

           

    14. Houston Astros (29-31)

    The Astros backed their way into the postseason with a 10-17 record and minus-19 run differential in September. Rookies Cristian Javier (10 GS, 3.48 ERA) and Framber Valdez (10 GS, 3.57 ERA) have stepped up big behind Zack Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr. in the rotation, and that will need to continue for them to succeed in October.

          

    13. St. Louis Cardinals (30-28)

    A 16-day layoff at the end of July following a COVID-19 outbreak forced the Cardinals to play 53 games in 44 days, yet they still managed to earn a wild-card spot.  Infielder Brad Miller has quietly been one of the most impactful additions of the year, and Paul Goldschmidt has bounced back nicely from a lackluster first season in St. Louis. Can Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright shoulder the load atop the rotation in October?

         

    12. Miami Marlins (31-29)

    The Marlins have now made the postseason three times in their 28-year history as a franchise, and the first two both ended in World Series titles. The trio of Sandy Alcantara (7 GS, 3.00 ERA), Pablo Lopez (11 GS, 3.61 ERA) and electric rookie Sixto Sanchez (7 GS, 3.46 ERA) in the starting rotation will be the key to making another October push.

          

    11. Cincinnati Reds (31-29)

    With an 11-3 record in their last 14 games, the Reds are playing as well as any team in baseball right now. The bullpen has been shaky at times, and the offense has dealt with some ups and downs, but a postseason rotation of NL Cy Young favorite Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray makes them a formidable challenger for the NL pennant.

Nos. 10-6

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    Max Fried
    Max FriedAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    10. Chicago Cubs (34-26)

    The Cubs managed to right the ship after a rocky 5-10 stretch of games in August to win their third NL Central title in five years. Yu Darvish is an NL Cy Young candidate, and Kyle Hendricks had another quietly excellent season, but someone from the trio of Jon Lester, Alec Mills and perhaps Adbert Alzolay will need to step up for them to make a playoff run.

           

    9. Atlanta Braves (35-25)

    A high-powered offense led the Braves to a third straight NL East crown, with Freddie Freeman (1.102 OPS, 13 HR, 53 RBI) and Marcell Ozuna (1.067 OPS, 18 HR, 56 RBI) doing their best Manny Ramirez-David Ortiz impression in the middle of the lineup. Rookies Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright are lined up to start behind Max Fried in the postseason, and a bullpen that ranked third in the majors with a 3.31 ERA will be a major factor.

            

    8. New York Yankees (33-27)

    It was an interesting September for the Yankees, who went 4-13 around a 10-game winning streak, perfectly illustrating the boom-or-bust potential of this year's team. If the offense is swinging it well and X-factors Deivi Garcia and J.A. Happ can do their part behind Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, this team has the upside to win it all. Those things are far from foregone conclusions.

           

    7. Chicago White Sox (35-25)

    The White Sox picked an unsettling time to go ice cold with a 1-7 record in their last eight games, and it's not always as easy as just flipping the switch when the postseason starts. That slide also cost them a division title and home-field advantage. With Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel anchoring the rotation and a high-powered offense capable of piling up runs, they have the pieces. Is the young roster ready for October, though?

           

    6. Cleveland Indians (35-25)

    The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak earlier this month to close out the season on a 9-2 run, which included a four-game sweep of the White Sox last week. Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac will be making their postseason debuts, sandwiched around Game 2 starter Carlos Carrasco. Meanwhile, Jose Ramirez hit .366/.453/.841 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI over 23 games in September.

Nos. 5-1

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    5. Oakland Athletics (36-24)

    For the first time since 2013, the Athletics are division champs, claiming the AL West crown by a comfortable seven games over the Astros. The A's lack a bona fide ace, but likely Game 2 starter Chris Bassitt quietly finished third in the AL with a 2.29 ERA, while Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo are both capable of dominance. Throw in baseball's best bullpen (2.76 ERA) and this team can't be overlooked.

             

    4. Minnesota Twins (36-24)

    Most expected the Twins to slug their way to the postseason once again, and they have plenty of offensive firepower. But the starting rotation has also been a strength, and strong finishes to the regular season from Michael Pineda and Rich Hill have solidified things further. It's hard not to be at least a little concerned by their 12-17 record away from Target Field, but at least they'll have home-field advantage in the Wild Card Series.

            

    3. San Diego Padres (37-23)

    Injuries to Mike Clevinger (sprained elbow) and Dinelson Lamet (biceps tightness) are unsettling, to say the least. But the Padres are still optimistic Lamet will be ready to take the ball for Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. Behind those two, Zach Davies has been terrific all season, and Garrett Richards is a viable option to start despite recently transitioning to the bullpen. There's a great mix of youthful enthusiasm and veteran leadership in the clubhouse that can't be overlooked.

            

    2. Tampa Bay Rays (40-20)

    As usual, pitching was the foundation for the Rays' success with a 3.56 team ERA that was good for third-lowest in the majors. However, this team has more offensive upside than in years past, slugging 80 home runs (14th in MLB) and averaging 4.8 runs per game. Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton are all capable of dominating despite middling regular-season results.

            

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17)

    The Dodgers have been perched in the No. 1 spot in these rankings since early August, and they have just kept winning. A plus-136 run differential in 60 games speaks to their dominance, and they were equally dangerous at home and on the road. Mookie Betts looked like he could be the missing piece when he was acquired during the offseason. Is this the year the October results finally match the regular-season success?

Complete Rankings

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers
    2. Tampa Bay Rays
    3. San Diego Padres
    4. Minnesota Twins
    5. Oakland Athletics
    6. Cleveland Indians
    7. Chicago White Sox
    8. New York Yankees
    9. Atlanta Braves
    10. Chicago Cubs
    11. Cincinnati Reds
    12. Miami Marlins
    13. St. Louis Cardinals
    14. Houston Astros
    15. Toronto Blue Jays
    16. Milwaukee Brewers
    17. San Francisco Giants
    18. Philadelphia Phillies
    19. Los Angeles Angels
    20. New York Mets
    21. Seattle Mariners
    22. Arizona Diamondbacks
    23. Colorado Rockies
    24. Baltimore Orioles
    25. Kansas City Royals
    26. Washington Nationals
    27. Boston Red Sox
    28. Detroit Tigers
    29. Texas Rangers
    30. Pittsburgh Pirates

Team of the Year

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    Freddie Freeman
    Freddie FreemanJohn Amis/Associated Press

    C Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
    (156 PA, .333/.353/.633, 12 2B, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 22 R)

    1B Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
    (262 PA, .341/.462/.640, 23 2B, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 51 R)

    2B DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees
    (216 PA, .364/.421/.590, 10 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 41 R)

    3B Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
    (254 PA, .292/.386/.607, 16 2B, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 45 R)

    SS Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
    (257 PA, .277/.366/.571, 11 2B, 17 HR, 45 RBI, 50 R)

    LF Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
    (196 PA, .351/.490/.695, 14 2B, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 39 R)

    CF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
    (241 PA, .281/.390/.603, 9 2B, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 41 R)

    RF Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
    (246 PA, .292/.366/.562, 9 2B, 16 HR, 39 RBI, 47 R)

    DH Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves
    (267 PA, .338/.431/.636, 14 2B, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 38 R)

    SP Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
    (12 GS, 8-1, 1.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 21 BB, 122 K, 77.1 IP)

    SP Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds
    (11 GS, 5-4, 1.73 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 17 BB, 100 K, 73.0 IP)

    SP Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs
    (12 GS, 8-3, 2.01 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 14 BB, 93 K, 76.0 IP)

    SP Dinelson Lamet, San Diego Padres
    (12 GS, 3-1, 2.09 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 20 BB, 93 K, 69.0 IP)

    SP Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
    (12 GS, 4-2, 2.38 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 18 BB, 104 K, 68.0 IP)

    RP Devin Williams, Milwaukee Brewers
    (22 G, 9 HLD, 4-1, 0.33 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 9 BB, 53 K, 27.0 IP)

AL Award Picks

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    Shane Bieber
    Shane BieberTony Dejak/Associated Press

    MVP

    1. Jose Abreu, CWS
    2. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    3. DJ LeMahieu, NYY
    4. Nelson Cruz, MIN
    5. Tim Anderson, CWS
    6. Shane Bieber, CLE
    7. Mike Trout, LAA
    8. Luke Voit, NYY
    9. Brandon Lowe, TB
    10. Teoscar Hernandez, TOR

                

    Cy Young

    1. Shane Bieber, CLE
    2. Kenta Maeda, MIN
    3. Dallas Keuchel, CWS
    4. Gerrit Cole, NYY
    5. Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR

              

    Rookie of the Year

    1. Kyle Lewis, SEA
    2. Luis Robert, CWS
    3. James Karinchak, CLE

NL Award Picks

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    Trevor Bauer
    Trevor BauerAaron Doster/Associated Press

    MVP

    1. Freddie Freeman, ATL
    2. Mookie Betts, LAD
    3. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
    4. Marcell Ozuna, ATL
    5. Manny Machado, SD
    6. Juan Soto, WAS
    7. Corey Seager, LAD
    8. Mike Yastrzemski, SF
    9. Trea Turner, WAS
    10. Michael Conforto, NYM

           

    Cy Young

    1. Trevor Bauer, CIN
    2. Yu Darvish, CHC
    3. Dinelson Lamet, SD
    4. Jacob deGrom, NYM
    5. Clayton Kershaw, LAD

            

    Rookie of the Year

    1. Devin Williams, MIL
    2. Jake Cronenworth, SD
    3. Dustin May, LAD

            

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.